Police Federation Chair: UK must get used to ever changing Covid-19 regulations

12 September 2020, 16:56

By Seán Hickey

The Police Federation chair accepted it has been confusing for the public to get a grasp of government guidelines, but we must get used to rapidly changing rules.

David Lammy was speaking to John Apter, the chair of the Police Federation, who admitted that "it has been confusing" to both abide by and enforce rapidly changing coronavirus rules, as new regulations are set to be in place at the beginning of next week.

"Policing has had to be incredibly flexible" he said, revealing to David that "the guidance that was given to police officers was changing" which complicated the situation.

"It has been difficult and it has been a challenge, I really do believe this ever changing time is our new norm and we're going to have to get used to that."

Pushed on whether or not he sympathised with the public having to refresh their knowledge of coronavirus rules frequently, Mr Apter admitted he did have sympathy for the public in this situation.

Conversely, David had sympathy for Mr Apter's colleagues.

"The police of course have to enforce the rules," which have been difficult to follow, and David noted that officers have been tasked with "having to get on top of the rules pretty quickly."

Mr Apter told David he sympathised with people 'confused' by guidelines
Mr Apter told David he sympathised with people 'confused' by guidelines. Picture: PA

David wondered what the Police Federation chair thought of people blatantly flouting rules. Mr Apter began by insisting that "the vast majority of the public just want to do the best they can."

He went on to say that "it is really hard to police," situations where lockdown rules are being breached "because we can't be everywhere."

David prodded Mr Apter, asking if he understood that people feel hard done by by the rules "because the rules keep jumping about."

"Government must play their part and they have to do a really effective public information campaign, make it crystal clear what is expected of the public" Mr Apter said, which he believed would be the best way to ensure confusion is kept to a minimum.